24-h urinary free cortisol from mid-pregnancy to 3-months postpartum

Journal article


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Publication Details

Subtitle: Gender and parity differences and effects
Author list: Conde, A., Figueiredo, B.
Publisher: Elsevier
Publication year: 2014
Journal: Psychoneuroendocrinology (0306-4530)
Volume number: 50
Start page: 264
End page: 273
Number of pages: 10
ISSN: 0306-4530
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


Background: Pregnancy and postpartum have been associated to several
physiological changes;however, empirical evidence was almost exclusively
obtained in primiparous women and few studies focus on hormonal changes
in men and second-time parents. The main aim of this study is to
examine 24-h urinary free cortisol from mid-pregnancy to 3-months
postpartum, comparing women/men and first/second-time parents.Methods:
Twenty-six women and 22 men (N = 48) were recruited from an antenatal
obstetric unit in Porto, Portugal. 24-h urinary free cortisol was
measured at the 2nd and 3rd trimester and at 3-months postpartum.
Repeated measures analyses of variance were conducted, in order to
analyze 24-h urinary free cortisol patterns of change over this period.
Gender and parity were included in the analyses as potential modifiers,
in order to compare women and men, and first-and second-time
parents.Results: An increase from the 2nd to the 3rd trimester (p =
.006) and a decrease from the 3rd trimester to 3-months postpartum (p =
.005) were reported in all parents’ 24-h urinary free cortisol. The
interaction effects for Time * Gender (p = .03) and Time * Parity (p =
.02) were found. Women and first-time parents revealed higher levels,
while men and second-time parents showed lower 24-h urinary free
cortisol levels at the 2nd trimester than at 3-months
postpartum.Conclusions: Findings appear to clarify the direction, as
well as, the timing, gender and parity extension of 24-h urinary free
cortisol changes from mid-pregnancy to 3-months postpartum.The same
pattern of change in all parents’ 24-h urinary free cortisol from
mid-pregnancy to 3-months postpartum is consistent with the proposed
role of hormones in preparation to parenting.


Cortisol, Postpartum, Pregnancy


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Last updated on 2019-13-08 at 00:45